MedIT

Virtual Computer Services (VCS)

Virtual Computer Services (VCS) was implemented within the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry approximately 10 years ago, providing a secure, easy to maintain, web-accessible computer service at a lower cost than standard desktops. Within VCS, you’ll find a modern operating system and up-to-date software, which is maintained twice monthly. Over 1400 faculty and support staff across all departments are already taking advantage of this service. Will you be the next to experience VCS?

What is VCS?

VCS is the acronym for Virtual Computer Services which MedIT offers as a low-cost replacement for desktop computers.

Traditionally desktop computers run a complete operating system (Windows) and all the software (Office, Internet Explorer, etc.) directly on the device located at your desk.

Virtual computers move the operating system and software to a server and the computer connects to it via an Internet connection. You can access this through any browser.

By moving the operating system and software off of the desktop, it decreases the expense of the computer that is needed for updates and servicing.

What problem is being solved with VCS?

Cost of software

VCS utilizes software licensed for large numbers of users which drives down the per-person cost.

Cost of hardware

Because VCS does not require the installation of programs on the end device it can run on very low-cost computers or “thin clients” which are available for rental from MedIT. These computers can be purchased or leased at a lower cost than buying a traditional standalone device. Furthermore, decommissioned PCs can be repurposed as thin clients. These older devices would be free of charge as they become available.

Cost of support

  • Software: as there is no software installed on the user's computer a visit to the computer to address the issue is not needed.
  • Easily upgrade or deploy new software centrally.  No need to implement on individual computers. This helps ensure you have the most current software at your disposal along with the latest bells and whistles. 
  • Software is centrally updated every two weeks along with any security patches.
  • Hardware: due to the low cost of the end device, if there is a problem it can be easily replaced with a new device.

Security

  • Increased security of documents.  No documents are stored on endpoint devices mitigating the risk if there is a hardware failure.  
  • All data is backed-up on FoMD servers and falls into our disaster recovery scheme.
  • Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) ensures further security when accessing your files from an off-site location
  • Image refresh on logoff.  Removes unnecessary system changes and files.
  • Only Whitelisted software is permitted, protecting against zero-day malware/virus attacks.

Mobility

Easily access VCS from any device, any browser and any location.

Rates

VCS is a fee-based service available to faculty and staff and is available by subscription. Contact the Service Desk for current prices.

Getting Started

You can get started by contacting the Service Desk.